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The Homage To Hell - 95%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, March 26th, 2008

Seven Churches is one of the most sick, twisted and brutal albums ever. Those guys at the time where exceptional. Recorded during the Easter holidays (hell yeah!), we can easily say that these 10 songs invented a new form of doing metal, opening the gates to new genres like black and death. Ok, let’s take a look at the musical panorama at the time (1985): Slayer put out the dark, violent “Hell Awaits”, Kreator were at the beginning with their first album “Endless Pain”, Sodom had just released the mini “In The Sign Of Evil” in 1984 and Sepultura the “Bestial Devastation” EP. Wow, what a year for the growing extreme scene.

Despite the bands I mentioned before, Possessed were even more obscure and “black metal” in the way of dressing and acting, keeping alive the Satanic spirit presented few years before by groups like Venom and Slayer…it’s a sort of prosecution by these young fellows. Their main influences were exactly the thrash metal and the very first extreme thrash metal bands with a death touch. So, if Becerra was to come an idol for the future generation of deathsters (Chuck Schuldiner), it’s good to know that he wanted to sing like Cronos and his vocals went into too extreme direction, contributing in creating a new thing.

Their influences from the horror films would have become a classic stuff in the lyrics by the very first death metal groups and the Satanic hymns for the future black metal groups. The sound is unmistakable, unique and truly evil. The guitars sound like mad chainsaws and a song like “The Exorcist” is a classic amongst the classics. The furious, raw up tempo parts with fast rolls on the snare drum and the tempo changes are well mixed with the evil single note riffs made on a single chord, like it would have been for the black metal bands in the near future.

The growls at the beginning of “Pentagram” are truly scary and innovative for that period. This song is great for the lead guitars riffage during the tempo changes and the sulphurous aura. “Burning In Hell” is awesome with the malignant riffs and vocals beyond human comprehension. No one at the time could play faster, harder and so evil. The solos are in pure Slayer direction with shredded parts and whistles. The bass drum work on “Evil Warriors” seems endless, with great march rolls, and the wall of sound from the guitars on “Holy Hell” is pure madness.

“Satan’s Curse” is great for the drums stomps on the hi-hat, creating a really catchy, but dark as hell, sound. It’s really hard to describe the atmosphere these guys can create on this album because they seem like coming directly from hell for malignance and evilness. “Fallen Angel” is truly creepy for the bells sounds in some parts during the song and the final “Death Metal” is the very first hymn to this genre, embracing all the characteristics a band should have to play this kind of infernal music. An ever shining album.